Enjoying the weather? Feeling friskier than usual? Well with the sheer amount of musical mayhem going down this weekend — you damn well better be. It’s there, waiting for you. So get at it boys and girls.
Friday May 15th
One of the scene\’s most riotous acts, red hot garage funk duo Luv Plastik celebrate the release of their EP on new label Ran Music and they\’re bringing the pain alongside some of local promoter Dr. Smartass\’s cream of the crop including math rock wiz kids Mammals, upbeat 70s rockers Chinese Modern Guys, and the original Dr. Smartass torch holders, the Bastards of Imperialism who are just about out of bubblegum. All at Gulou\’s home of fermented (and stinking drunk) rock n roll, School. If the new Tangzhou venue Bye Bye Disco (it’s really out there) is trying to tempt me to head east then it’s working. Cause they’ve snagged a damn titillating lineup for their one year (really) anniversary including the dark electro queens Nova Heart, post rock shifters Glow Curve, and lady-friendly rockers NUT. Two out of three of those are pretty big hitters and for the size I’m gathering Bye Bye Disco is, this is looking to be quite an excuse to head out to bumblefuck Beijing. Beijing underground hip-hop promoters Chaos Deal bring their new series, Chill Live, to DDC. They will be hosting live acid jazz/trip hop band Jump, whom I’ve heard zip about. But what a fine mix of genres. They\’re joined by Beijing underground hip hop wunderkid J-Fever, one of the scene’s most intriguing artist. Expect a night of fresh beats and offbeat rhymes. Metal comes home to Mao Livehouse as long standing long haired mosh starters Scar Constitution celebrate fifteen years of tearing down walls with their metal-tastic riffs. Supporting them will be Mega Soul, a name that received a lot of love from the metal community last year, and Fengtian. Gonna be loud and proud. Fantasy nerds! Unite! Russian neo classical outfit Alizbar, self-proclaimed fairytale conjurers show off their skills at Yugong Yishan. Expect harps galore, and a music that needn’t words to soothe. From the blurb: ‘We feel physically Wind, Forest, the breath of Fairies, Elves and other Spirits of Nature. Subtlety, delicacy, elegance, sensitivity, Alizbar offers you all his grace in music.’ Enough said. Time to break out my cloak. Two folk acts take the stage at XP – including Lao Piao and Wuhan ‘anti-folk’ wordsmith Azda. XP and folk – an unusual combination but one that works for me — especially if it’s folk of the ‘rambunctious’ variety. A solid trifecta of rock and roll at Temple including Los Crasher (they’re backkkk!), Car Car Cars, and Secret Club. Finally catch European power trio Octopuss at the Post Mountain Space.
Saturday May 16th
A punk’s dream of a bill over at School – with a hefty dose of both well known and up and coming bands – and righteous all the way through. Fitting that it was set up Nevin Domer (punk entrepreneur of Genjing Records) and long standing punk zine Maximum Rocknroll, who are throwing gigs all across the world. Deep roots indeed. From the metal-tinged street punk of Demerit, to the d-beat of D-Crash, to the fastcore hoogiganism of Dr. Liu, to the straight up WTF jazz riffing, throat screaming of Zankou (seriously, these guys are up to something) and the eager to please young ruffians Laisee, it’s a jam packed night of punk amiability. Nu metal legends Yaksa – music festival highlight of just about every year – return with their latest album off of Modern Sky at Tango. These cats have been together for twenty years just about so let’s just say, they know what the hell they’re doing. After Tango got shut down due to ‘safety concerns’ I can only imagine how the ‘wall of death’ will play out this evening. Gonna get wild. From the horse’s mouth: ‘multimedia experimental electronic group Liquid Palace (featuring Meng Qi and CAFA professer Sandy Ding, plus YanRui and Xiin) give a special performance tonight at XP, new album in tow.” I’ve only heard great things about this amorphous blob of electronica pros. One of Beijing’s most notorious folk artists Wu Hongfei returns with her latest endeavor to Yugong Yishan – what started as a sharp quirky folk duo has morphed into an entirely different beast over seventeen years and frankly I’m super curious to see what’s she has up her sleeve next. Electronic/funk/rock music enthusiasts Dirty Honey bring their A-game to Mako Livehouse. Punk rock in the outer regions of Beijing. It doesn’t look like Bye Bye Disco is closing its doors anytime so if you’re in the mood to wild out in a different part of town then head over to check out The Diders, Shochu Legion and Sudden Strike. Temple gets its ska on with trail blazers End of the World. American folk musicians Randy Abel and Kirk Kenney will be playing some American classics as well as some originals alongside Daniel Taylor and Heike Kagler as the Honky Tonk Demons at DDC. Chinese jazz singer Zhang Ying, aka Sondia, brings her contemporary jazz flavorings to Jianghu Bar.
Sunday May 17th
69 Café and Mako Livehouse team up this month for another series of Mushroom Festival goodness. This Sunday brings out 69 Café’s current folk roster back in Gulou, including veteran folk act Zhang Qianqian, as well as a slew of new and interesting acts including Xiao Pu, The Plum Trees, Moxiaopi, and much much more Fine way to take in your Sunday afternoon and evening (2pm start). Sunday and folk shows —– just about everywhere. Tonight serves up Changsha folk singer Monster in Bottle alongside Boss & Drinkers at DDC while over at School check out Sakamoto – or enjoy the Gansu dialect with Lamujia at Jianghu Bar.